Michelle Mone: Standing out from the crowd

When I first launched Ultimo I had very little money to market my business; however, I knew that I had a unique proposition that would help me stand out from the crowd – patented silicone technology adding two whole bra cup sizes. What is special and different about my product? Who will buy it? Why is it better? These were the important questions I asked myself.

It’s amazing how many companies are doing interesting things and nobody knows about it. Over the past week alone, I’ve come across a handful of products and businesses that have blown me away – and that I’ve never heard of before.

Of course, processes and systems, great staff and service levels are all hugely important ingredients in your business – but if you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to stand out, differentiate yourself from the competitors and make your message clear.

Differentiation is about understanding where you fit best and can deliver the most value. Every business is very different and there is no “one size fits all” strategy. Also, trying to appeal to everyone is dangerous territory. Lots of businesses shy away from being “niche”, because they are afraid of alienating potential customers, but if you are really good at what you do, customers are far more likely to come to you for your unique expertise.

Finally, when it comes to standing out, you just have to take that leap of faith – and it can be terrifying. When I first launched Ultimo on a shoestring budget, I pulled together a group of actors to play surgeons and “protest” outside Selfridges against Ultimo – as our silicone competed with breast augmentation! We gained global coverage that lead to massive deals with various companies, and the rest is history.

So, what does it take to stand out? By now, you get the idea – be different, be creative and know who you are. Strive to provide things that your competitors do not and don’t be afraid.

Image: Red Apple from Green Apple by Shutterstock

About Michelle Mone

Michelle Mone is one of the UKs leading female entrepreneurs. Awarded an OBE for services to business as her 17 year career to date has seen her transform from a humble Bra designer to making Ultimo one of the leading underwear brands and now spends a lot of her time as a inspirational speaker, ambassador of the Kalixa Pro Spirit of Business Awards, Made in Britain campaign and The Princes Trust.